Today Kim and Peter Martin, and Bernard Eddy, came over and gave me hand in the garden. Peter and Kim brought a load of delicious looking compost, which Peter spread over the front garden bed, where the Peonies are.
Kim did the fine weeding, and delicate pruning, while Peter regaled us with stories of his experience as a pruner, starting with the time he pruned an old, and really tall Lemon tree, by shaving off the side branches, up as far as he could reach. Seemingly he ended up with a very nicely trimmed Lollipop shaped Lemon Tree (with all the fruit completely out of reach). I can understand Kim's reaction, when she saw the result. In Peter's defence, it was a long time ago, and he claims that he has learnt a lot about pruning since then. It seemed to come down to a debate between whether the Lemon Tree episode was "a learning experience - for Peter", or whether he had shown, early on, his true nature as a pruner (one who ought never be given anything sharper than a nail file). Anyway, I decided that the Lemon Tree episode was a long time ago. And Peter's help was much appreciated today. He did a great job, but I did keep a close eye on his trimming activities, none-the-less.
On the other hand, Kim kept noticing interesting little plants around the garden, such as the tips of Bluebells popping up, and Cyclamen hederifolium, which are only just showing a few leaves at present. So, I figured she knows her plants pretty well. So I was happy to trust her judgement, while doing the weeding. (Having seen Kim's garden, I know she is an excellent gardener.)
Bernie and Peter did a lot of cutting of broken branches of wattle trees (owing to the recent wild weather). We also managed to remove a large Plumbago, which I had planted in the wrong place, several years ago, and which was beginning to overcrowd many other plants. I like that plant, but this one was definitely in the wrong place. Bernie claimed the "scalp", after Peter and I had had a go at digging it out, without quite managing it. The guys took a number of loads of branches, and shrub-prunings down into the bottom paddock, onto the bonfire pile, where it will be allowed to dry out, before being burn off, at some stage, when the weather is suitable.
Bernie assures me that Melba, the Welsh Mountain Pony, is a lovely little horse, with a sweet nature. Clearly Bernie understands something about horses, which I do not. The only time Melba is ever nice to me is if I bring her an apple.
This was a very generous act on everybody's part, and I really appreciate it. We had a lamb roast, for a late lunch, after a few hours of work, and everybody enjoyed the meal.
Friends like these are a special gift.